Saturday, June 20, 2009

When you feel your craft is letting you down

Have a look at this funny blog where people post their craft failures. I probably have a half dozens I could add, if I remembered them. I try to forget about my failures (craft or cooking) but try to remember the lesson learned! :)

I made another batch of soap this week, with my own home made oat milk (milking those little flakes of oats takes patience and dexterity! LOL!) - more on this a bit below.

First off, the coconut soap from the previous post didn't really change much. The colours are a bit more uniform, and not such a big change from the pic below. So I won't bother posting a pic but you can see one here, the brown is a wee bit less brown, but really, not much of a difference.

A few days later I decided to shred all my bits of soap (the ones from the ends of the log, or leftover from when I thought it would be nice to cut small samples for people, etc) and make what is called "confetti" soap... I used a plant based colourant called Alkanet (it's a root, ground up) which is supposed to turn to purple/mauve but yeah, it looks mostly grey... doesn't matter, it'll still wash nicely:
Confetti Soap a month later
well, at least it's a not-so-girly looking soap!!! :) Funny thing though is the round one gelled and the crinkle cut one didn't, and I can't see a colour difference. Alkanet is supposed to react differently gelled or not.... this is the same recipe divided in two moulds. Strange. Maybe time will tell a different story!

Then a week or so after that I played with my Milky Way Moulds... the things which are impossible to unmould unless you use force!!! But there are other tips I've gleaned along the way... Sodium Lactate is your friend, and silicones too!!!
I've used Na Lactate in the soap, and I also sprayed the mould with the detangling spray I make for the girls, which consists of Cyclomethicone and Dimethicone. I was able to unmould my soaps after an hour... Much better than the last batch I'd made in the moulds where some soaps were impossible to unmould after two weeks (When I decided to use brute force!!)

These are my first successfully unmoulded soaps:
Possible MWMoulds Success Possible MWMoulds Success Possible MWMoulds Success
These are slowly turning into an "vieux rose" colour, old-fashioned pink, or think of slightly tea dyed pink... hmmm, I must learn to describe colours better!!! :) These will get a pic update at the end of the month I believe!! Colour IS changing! (oh, these are scented with a Karma Kazi FO which is similar to Lush's Karma! I just LOVE it, while some other noses don't... I think the Patchouli is the deciding factor here!)

I was so excited a few days later I tried another one, the soap is quite yellow, it's supposed to mellow (mellow yellow?) over time. I'll post another pic when it's cured if there is a difference (FO here is Rhubarb al Fresco!):
Another batch of dragons

This week I was highly inspired by a post on The Dish to try and make my own oat milk by soaking 'old fashioned' oats (imo the only oats worth buying!) in water, cook them a little to soften them, and collect the liquid... called "oat milk", and made soap with it. An interesting process, the oat milk when mixed with lye was quite thick, but it soaped really nicely. I also tried to swirl in some mica, went about it the wront way, so my soap looks as though it has bruises! The smell is Buttermilk and Honey from Big Tree Supplies (Karen there is really nice, great service! and she has all the Lush type fragrances you can think of!!! YUM! she also has candle supplies, and reed diffuser supplies too!)

Oh, yeah, so here's the soap:
Oat Milk Soap
and here's a close up of the grains, they are not lye (as far as I can tell, no "zap"), I believe they are the grains of oats that I squished through the sieve being a bit too enthusiastic in my quest for oat milk.
Oat Milk Soap

For my next batch I might try a really neat swirl method I've read about on Ellen's Essentials.


Heather T. said...

Wow, you're turning out some beautiful stuff, France! Very cool!

France said...

Thanks Heather!!!

Myléne Hillam said...

Your house must smell divine with all these yummy scents floating around.
I love reading about all the new things you've been trying - I have no idea what a lot of it means, but I love the processes you describe anyway!

Erin Napier said...

Looking good France! Love the fancy moulds.